Currently, ranked in 17th place in terms of gold production, the country’s officials have often times stated their aims to see Chile grow to be among the world’s top 10 producing nations for that precious mineral. With optimism being expressed that total gold production in the South American nation could potentially increase to triple that of current production, reaching to in excess of 140 tons per annum by 2016, which place Chile eighth overall in terms of gold production worldwide.
As of this year, nearly 20% of the largest of Chile’s copper mines are scheduled to either be closed or converted by 2025, with the country only now facing up to the prospect of falling from its number one position, after failing to adequately address the problems posed by falling ore grades at its aging, less efficient mines as copper prices retreated on lowered demand and the rising of costs. Despite producing nearly 5.8 million tons of copper in 2013, the largest single country of supply, almost 20% of that amount was recovered from mines that are due for closure or conversion over the next decade.
The solution for the world’s largest copper producer, as well as holder of the largest known reserves of the red metal, can only be brought about by significant investment into that country’s copper mining infrastructure, investment that would bring online more efficient operations, resulting in greater output, higher ore grades and increasing rather than decreasing total production values. This year has seen a start of these initiatives in earnest as Chile fights to remain number one ahead of increasing demand being once again driven by the resource hungry China.
In a recent report published by the Chilean Copper Commission (Cochilco), mining industry investments in that country are growing rapidly and are providing the sector with the much needed boost it requires. According to the body’s most recent report, the mining industry in Chile will see investment of over $105 billion into new projects across the country in the years between 2014 and 2023, with copper mining to see the lion’s share of some $81 billion and a further $23 billion injected into efforts aimed at, iron ore, gold, silver and other industrial mineral projects.
As part of this giant plan, $28 billion worth of funds has been allocated towards Codelco, Chile’s state-owned mining company, for the development of new mines and upgrades to one of its major slated projects. It is against this very positive backdrop that CasCan Mining is also gearing up its own expansion plans and pressing forward, having long subscribed to the belief that smarter, more efficient mining is the industry’s future in the region.